The Anglican Church of Tanzania Responds to Decision of the Church of England to Bless Same-Sex Marriage
“Same-sex unions has no biblical ground whatsoever and based on the decision made our relationship with the Church of England (Mother Church) is severely impaired”
27 February 2023
OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH OF TANZANIA ON THE DECISION TAKEN BY THE GENERAL SYNOD OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND WITH REGARD TO SAME-SEX BLESSINGS
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
To all the bishops, clergy, lay faithful in the Anglican Church of Tanzania and our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in other parts of the Anglican Communion.
Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love. (Cf. 2 John 1:3).
Greetings in the mighty name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In the name of God, Amen.
1: As you are aware that at its recently regular meeting, the Synod of the Church of England voted in favor of a resolution to allow same-sex civil union to be blessed in the Church of England. It is said that this resolution has not yet canceled the previous position of the Church of England that marriage is between two people, a man and a woman, in a committed lifelong relationship. It is argued that the Synod of the Church of England voted in favor to bless same-sex people and not their relationships. This is a very difficult distinction so to make.
2: We are sorry to say that this decision has left many questions for Christians in various parts of the Anglican Communion and even non-Christians including here in Tanzania and especially considering that under Article 3(3) of its Constitution, the Anglican Church in Tanzania is a part of the Anglican Church throughout the world in the fellowship of churches with one Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church having a connection with the Archbishop of Canterbury.
3: Being deeply disappointed by the Church of England’s decision, the Anglican Church of Tanzania do reaffirm statement made in 2006 that same-sex unions has no biblical ground whatsoever and based on the decision made our relationship with the Church of England (Mother Church) severely impaired. The Anglican Church of Tanzania will not affirm this decision as it has no legal binding effect to any constituent member Church of the Anglican Communion.
4: The Anglican Church in Tanzania shall continue to teach that marriage is between a man and a woman, and the firm its orthodox teaching that anything contrary to Scriptures is against the Will of God. We call upon all clergy and lay faithful to prayer so that the Will of God will be discerned to the church not only here but to the global church.
5: May our joy be to follow to the end of the road we have embarked in following Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Savior of the world.
6: We call upon the Church of England to refrain from making decisions that will continue to bring pain to the Anglican Communion and the Body of Christ in general.
7: We prayed that you all will live by faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave Himself for you (Cf. Gal. 2:20) that you may be faithful in your calling and never lose sight of the great privilege that is ours: to collaborate in communicating Christ to the world and to build His Kingdom of holiness, justice and love.
The Most Rev. Maimbo Mndolwa, Primate & Archbishop Anglican Church of Tanzania;
Rt. Rev. Dr. Dickson Chilongani,
Rt. Rev. Dr. Mwita Akiri,
Rt. Rev. Isaiah Chambala,
Rt. Rev. Julius Lugendo,
Rt. Rev. Dr. Sospeter Ndenza,
Rt. Rev. Matthew Mhagama,
South West Tanganyika;
Rt. Rev. Mathayo Kasagara,;
Rt. Rev. Oscar Mnung’a,
Rt. Rev. Dr. Elias Chakupewa,
Rt. Rev. George Okoth,
Rt. Rev. Godfrey Sehaba,
Rt. Rev. Godfrey Kibuka,
Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Mgomi,
Rt. Rev. John Luppa,
Rt. Rev. Dr. James Almasi,
Rt. Rev. Given Gaula,
Rt. Rev. Darlington Bendankeha,
Rt. Rev. Stanley Hotay,
Rt. Rev. Raphael Haule,
Rt. Rev. Vithalis Sunzu,
Rt. Rev. Johnson Chinyong’ole,
Rt. Rev. Jackson Sosthenes,
Dar es Salaam;
Rt. Rev. Zephania Amosi Ntunza,
Rt. Rev. Moses Yamo Mascara,
Rt. Rev. Emmanuel Bwatta,
ALSO: General Secretary: Rev. Canon Bethel Mlula
Provincial Registrar: Lay Canon George N. Mandepo